Ridge-crossing seamount chains: A nonthermal approach
Published:January 01, 2007
In this article we examine whether it is viable to form an age-progressive ridge-crossing seamount chain using a nonplume mechanism. Nonthermal melt sources considered include fertile mantle blobs and subsolidus mantle while lithospheric stresses generated at the ridge and at ridge-transform intersections (RTIs) are tapped to bring the mantle to the surface. Finite element models, analog models, and an analysis of the Tristan de Cunha chain all show that ridge-crossing seamount chains may be created using these mechanisms. Essentially, as a ridge migrates or reorganizes, excess magmatism may appear to switch sides of the ridge as areas of extensional stress at the RTI migrate with the ridge.